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Notice to Gujarat on ‘fake’ encounters
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, October 8
The Supreme Court today took cognisance of a PIL by noted journalist B.G. Verghese for inquiry into at least 21 encounters in Gujarat in post-Godhra riots, claiming that all of them were “fake” and needed to be investigated thoroughly. A Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.V. Raveendran and V.S. Sirpurkar issued notices to the Gujarat government and the centre, seeking their replies.

The court took cognisance of the PIL after Verghese’s counsel stated that the state government itself had admitted in the Assembly about the fake encounters.

Since reports about 21 such encounters had surfaced from time to time in the media, Verghese sought inquiry by some independent agency and prosecution of the police officials involved.

Earlier, after the apex court directed probe into the killing of an alleged inter-state extortionist Sohrabuddin in an encounter with the police near Ahmedabad, proved to be “stage managed” and three IPS officers, including DIG D.G. Vanzara, were arrested and changesheeted among 12 others to face trial. Verghese also sought laying down guidelines in consultation with the National Human Rights Commission to fixing accountability of officers involved in such illegal activities.

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